Sunday, September 22, 2013

Forget yer vampires, and ghosties, and long-leggity beasties - Lovecraftian horror is REAL horror

Blimey, I've not written many posts recently, have I? Mind you, there is a good reason; I'm knee-deep in writing the next book in the Cynos Union series, The Abominable Moon (coming soon to Amazon), y'see, and what with doing that and writing content for the redesign of my official site (and if you've not seen it yet, you really should go take a look; I am well proud of it), the blog's had to be put on pause for a bit.

But now, I'm back,and since The Abominable Moon is basically a horror story (the name's a bit of a giveaway, right?), I reckon now's the perfect time to talk about that genre.

I'd best also mention that as far as horror goes, vampires, werewolves, ghoulies and ghosties just don't cut it, for me. Why? Well I shall tell ya...

With vampires especially, people know the rules; they're hideously allergic to being stabbed in the heart with a big lump of wood (as is, y'know, everyone ever), or you can kill them by feeding them particularly strong spaghetti aglio e olio (garlic, y'see). Or, at a pinch, you could wave a really strong sunbed at them.

There's nothing horrifying whatsoever about vampires, not any more. They may have been scary once, but with all this gothic romance going about, vampires have gone from being monstrous predators to being whiny love interests. Something similar happened to zombies; after Danny Boyle made the brilliant 28 Days Later (which is not a zombie movie, as Boyle himself says), Hollywood latched onto the idea that zombies need to be fast, to be scary.

Sure, they may be scary in the same way that a pack of really peckish hyenas is scary, but they're never going to be horrifying. They're never going to provoke the kind of existential dread that makes you question yourself, the world around you, and the entirety of reality itself.

For real, genuine horror, one has to turn to the writings of a strange and brilliant man from Rhode Island...

H.P. Lovecraft, for all the discussions that go on online about the racism in his work, was arguably the greatest horror writer who ever lived, at least in my view. One of the primary exponents of the cosmic horror genre, Lovecraft was a grand master at showing how small and insignificant humanity truly is. His is a universe populated by vast, unknowable entities which would steamroller over humanity in seconds, utterly wiping us out without even noticing our existence, and which fundamentally change reality with their existence. That is true horror, and that is precisely what I'm aiming for with The Abominable Moon.

Not for nothing is one of the chapters therein called "Within The Moon Of Madness"... 

Where Messiah's Shard was always meant to be an epic, and where The Non-Random Dog was written as a good old-fashioned romp (complete with a dog in a spacesuit), The Abominable Moon is set in the dark side, the horrifying side, of the Cynos Union.

Are you ready to take a little trip...?

The ever-expanding and growing Cynos Union Series is available to buy now! Subscribe for more news from the world (and brain) of Mark W. Bonnett!

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